Meat

I was in the local supermarket recently when I became aware of how much meat there was in the store. When I say meat I mean flesh from animals be they fish fowl, beef, crustaceans, lamb, or pork. I think I could kill a lobster if it was biting me or a crab, I could also kill a fish or a sick bird to put it out of it's misery, probably the bigger animals too if it was between me or them or they were in agony and I had a weapon. To kill one of these animals, however, because I wanted to eat it, is something I think I might be hard pressed to do.

Now when I see a lot of people lined up at a fast food restaurant waiting for their burgers or their lean chicken breasts or fish fillets I can't help but wonder how many of them would be lined up if they were lining up to kill their supper. I'm sure there would be some, we have evolved from hunters and in some of us the gene remains strong. Don't get me wrong, I love eating meat, I love the smell of burning animal flesh, I even make my own beef and chicken jerky but still I remain troubled about it. There are no eyes that stare up at you from the meat packages in the brightly colored markets, if the back door swings open you might see a carcass hanging in the meat cooler but mostly what we see are smartly colored packages that do anything but remind of us of the incredible carnage of animals that goes on every day on this planet. The numbers must be stupefying, I won't even try to research it. Just one trip to KFC.com was enough, they killed 780,000,000 chickens last year.

The number of animals killed for human consumption must run into the hundreds of billions per year, a very sobering thought, if we were, let's say, being observed by an alien species. I can imagine what they might be thinking; "Lets stay away from the 3rd planet from that sun, those bipeds are still in the savage age, they kill everything in site, mark this planet down as a danger zone and off limits for 200 years, lets see if they grow out of it by then." Are we growing, evolving? The number of health food stores has grown dramatically in North America in the last 10 years, so much so that huge food chains are now carrying health food and meat replacement products in growing numbers and airlines and restaurants sometimes now even have vegetarian menus.

I've tried before to stop eating meat, unsuccessfully I might add. I even went 7 months once but was tempted back when the woman I was seeing made me my favourite meal, breaded veal cutlets, Italian style. That said, I am going to try again, just because my brain won't let me stop thinking about it and after all isn't peace of mind the key to being happy and healthy? The far-fetched idea comes to mind that perhaps if we started treating life, in the form of animals, a little bit better and stopped eating so many of them that perhaps this might be a step in the direction of treating each other better. We kill enough humans every year, maybe it's because we have the killing habit, maybe if we weren't so disconnected from the act of killing our supper every day, if we had to do it ourselves instead of paying someone else to do the killing, maybe there wouldn't be so much killing, of anything or anyone. Maybe, if you read this yak of mine, the next time you are lined up at a restaurant or fast food joint, you'll remember what I said about wondering how many people in this line could kill their own supper and then your goose will be cooked, so to speak, just like mine is. The mind is a wonderful thing but it can be a real pain in the ass when the lineup is too long and all you want is 2 burgers and a fry. Wish me luck!